THE CALIFORNIA AUTOMOBILE “LEMON LAW” AND WHAT IS A REASONABLE NUMBER OF REPAIR ATTEMPTS

What is considered a reasonable number of repair attempts under the California Lemon Law will depend on the circumstances including the seriousness of the defect. For example, one or two repair attempts may be considered reasonable for serious safety defects such as brake failure, depending on the exact situation.

A special provision often called the “Lemon Law,” helps determine what is a reasonable number of repair attempts for problems that substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the vehicle. The Lemon Law applies to these problems if they arise during the first 18 months after the consumer received delivery of the vehicle or within the first 18,000 miles on the odometer, whichever occurs first. During the first 18 months or 18,000 miles, the “Lemon Law” presumes that a manufacturer has had a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle if either (1) The same problem results in a condition that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven and the problem has been subject to repair two or more times by the manufacturer or its agents, and the buyer or lessee has at least once directly notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the problem as provided in the warranty or owner’s manual or (2) The same problem has been subject to repair four or more times by the manufacturer or its agents and the buyer has at least once directly notified the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the problem as provided in the warranty or owner’s manual or (3) The vehicle is out of service because of the repair of any number of problems by the manufacturer or its agents for a cumulative total of more than 30 days since delivery of the vehicle.

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